Welcome reader to my blog - a mixture of this and that. Now that we are living in a retirement community in downtown Columbia, MD my personal gardening activities are somewhat curtailed. I still enjoy visiting gardens, reading, watching wildlife on my walks, traveling, and occasional food commentary. Please leave a comment if you feel inspired to do so. I read every one of them.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

What's This? (16)

I was standing in my husband's study looking out.  Something seemed out of place.  


Just didn't belong to that tree.


What is it?

Grabbed the camera.  Went out the door.  I had to get a closer look and record of what I was seeing.

Do you see it now?


A snake, probably a black snake.


Curled up in the tree.


It didn't move as I took these photos.  I'm sure it could see me.


Quite a sizable length too.


Now here's a story.  
My niece discovered a very large black snake in her laundry room on the window of the door - inside!  She called her parents and they said call animal control.  Animal control came quickly but before the arrived they told her to keep a watch on the snake.  They captured it and wanted to release it in her yard but she insisted they take it to a creek near by.  Now the question remains, where was that snake all winter?

Update on house selling:  Photos were completed on Monday.  Today the virtual tour (matter port) was done.  That was interesting, and quite a fairly new technology.  The house is to go on sale tomorrow so if you are interested in viewing the virtual tour let me know in your comments and I'll try to send you the link.



Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Mount Vernon - A National Treasure


Linking to Tuesday Treasures





I visited Mount Vernon today, home of George Washington, with a friend visiting from North Dakota.  She hadn't been to Mount Vernon since she took a bus trip with her mother here years ago.

It was a glorious spring day.  Trees and blooms were much further along than they are at my house.  


I especially enjoyed seeing the redbuds in bloom.





Can you beat the blue of that sky?



You can even see the blue reflected in the glass.




And what a wonderful setting for a home on the Potomac River!


Our founding fathers offered George the kingship, but he turned it down.  He also turned down running for a third term as president and the smooth transition of power made a start there.

His carriage though looks fit enough for a king.












Saturday, March 26, 2016

Happy Easter!

Sorry for the quality of these.  I used my phone and its not an iPhone while I sat in the pew awaiting the start of the chorus concert.  My husband is a bass in the chorus that performed several Sundays ago at this Lutheran Church decked out for Lent.


Looking up at the ceiling.


Trying to capture the grandeur of the stained glass.
The organist is there warming up.  It had a wonderful sound.




Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Treasures I Will Say Good Bye to One Day


The old timbers in our great room are treasures of sorts.  Most came from old barns, repurposed for our house.  The horizontal one above with the peg sticking out of it and below, above the stone fireplace, are chestnut.  Chestnut trees don't grow here anymore since they succumbed to blight.


These beams came from an old church in Northern Baltimore County that was built in Colonial times, likely late 1600s or early 1700s.  So these trees were growing in this area before Europeans arrived.  A bit mind boggling I know.  The timber framer who built this portion of the house found these beams laying by the church after a major renovation had taken place which removed them.  He got a good deal and originally hadn't planned to use them in our house, but changed his mind.

But here's a new treasure that will go with us: the latest painting by my husband.  His father was a Washington DC policeman hence the jacket and baton, his maternal grandfather was a founder of the Franconia fire department and his paternal grandfather was a train engineer.  One of the engines he drove is in the Smithsonian.





Monday, March 21, 2016

More Real Every Day

A sign went up at the bottom of our driveway and another at the top of the lane at the main road.  
[We live about a half mile from the road which is our address. 1/5 of that distance is our driveway.]

Today the realtor put toppers on the signs to pique interest.

Here's the one at the top of the lane.


Here's the one at the bottom of our driveway.



The house officially goes on the market on the 31st, though I must have everything done by next Monday when the photos are taken for the brochure.  After that it will be a matter of keeping the house neat and tidy.

What to buy a house in the woods?

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Frederick, MD Church

Friday I took a break from getting this house ready for selling and went to Frederick, MD.  I have had a box of old coins that I figured we didn't need to have in the safe deposit box anymore.  A couple of years ago I took them out expecting to find out what they were worth. Well the box sat in a closet until recently along with some old jewelry. After selling the jewelry to a local jewelry store most for the melt value, the jeweler said they also buy coins but sell them to a coin store in Frederick.  I figured I would cut out the middle and go directly there.

It was a beautiful day to be out and I was sorry I didn't bring my camera.  I used my phone to take these two photos of a church I walked past.  It was the white walls against the blue sky that caught my eye.






Thursday, March 17, 2016

First Event at Our Soon to be New Abode

As a future resident of Vantage House I was invited to attend a presentation that happens once a month there on genealogy. The subject for March was Land Deeds.  Fascinating stuff genealogy!  Like solving a mystery and I love reading mysteries.  I noticed in the elevator a plethora of activities being announced for the coming days.  I'll take advantage of those once we live there.

I learned a lot at this presentation and hope to put that new knowledge to work after this move.  I joined Ancestry.com in January and did some sleuthing with that.  I have had an interest in genealogy for some time and even took a course at the community college in 1979 but then I had children and no time.  Now I have the time so I will return to it.  It's my husband's ancestors that need to be researched.  I had an uncle who did major research and wrote up the genealogy for my side.  I suppose it can still be fleshed out more.

There were three other people besides the presenter in attendance.  I think it was a lighter than normal attendance since names were mentioned that were missing.  One woman was a prospective resident though she hadn't made up her mind yet.  The other couple were new residents as of December but they haven't sold their old house yet.  The wife said she needs to clean out the basement before they can do that.  I'm so glad we have never had a basement in the three houses we have owned.

Next up at Vantage House will be for us both to go to dinner there.  The food comes with such rave reviews even from some of our friends who are moving to another retirement community in near by Ellicott City.

House staging continues in earnest.  Mostly it's the deep cleaning tasks that are on the list before the photographer comes on the 28th.  A "Coming Soon" sign was to go up today but I didn't see it when I went out or upon my return.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Casselman or Castleman River Bridge

Searching through the archives to share some photos.  I took these on our return home last spring from our Roads Scholar trip to Missouri.  This park in is Western Maryland.

As I sort through stuff and prepare this house for sale I know an end product of our move will be more time to just pick up and go and see what sights await us.


Don't know which one is the correct spelling of this river and park.








Wednesday, March 9, 2016

You Know It's Spring When ...

... the frogs congregate in the pond and croak their hearts out to attract the females.

As I prepare this house for sale I realize I need to celebrate the last things I will experience on this property.  

Last night it was an owl call.  I may hear it again, but if I don't it was the last one to be heard while laying in bed falling asleep.

Yesterday while I was pruning, I realized my stewardship of this land is coming to an end.  It was the last time to prune the hibiscus, the hydrangeas, and the Joe Pye weed.

Here they are as they looked last year.  Yesterday they were just sticks,



 


And as the frogs are croaking, its the last spring I will hear them do that from this pond.
Let me share with you the sound and sight.


Well, that didn't work so here's some photos instead.






And this little fellow decided the shortest way to where he was going was through the screen porch.  I watched him try to get through the screen in vain.  Later he appeared inside the screen so he must have found a way in at one of the bases of the beams.  I had to shoo him out with a broom.  He was headed away from the pond.





Monday, March 7, 2016

Tuesday Treasures #8

More family photos but this time marked as treasures because they are coming off the wall.  According to "house staging for sale philosophy", you remove all personal effects that may prevent the prospective buyer from seeing themselves in the house.

 

As we prepare for the sale of our house (see yesterday's post to get the backstory) I am packing up all the framed photographs that chronicle our lives.
The bedroom hall has been a perfect spot to display this passage of time.  I wonder where I will do this once we settle in to our new digs?







The daughters are now 35 and 30.  Where has the time gone?











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